Australian WWII - Far North Queensland Metal detecting and recovery
Article about: Hi Blokes ~ I am posting this as an going blog for interested parties that have been following my fossicking of (extensive) WWII ~ Far North Qld Australia . This area has been described in r
05-15-2014, 02:05 AM
Yes ~ quite impressive ~ And I can relate to memory lapse on "finds" ~ I have only been at this for 16 months~ and some of my stuff I have to consider as to "where did I find them?" ~
As for my costs ~ I ' get away with it' with my Lady only in respect that ~ I find it ~ bring it home ~ ( not buy it ! )
Although I recently commented that I could easily get hooked on buying and collecting badges. She totally understood.. but tomorrow it would be a another ~ different partner completely ~ denying she ever said such a thing !!
Pfftt !! Wimen !! LOL
05-16-2014, 12:02 PM
The Shell case is a US 37 MM 1916 field gun as typical of the Stuart light tank ~
05-31-2014, 06:36 AM
I have been asked about the 2 & 6 pounders shells I found ~ Maybe a nothing new to many one site ~
A comparison and history associated with the Two pounder and Six pounders rounds we have found of late ~
The earlier ones are 2 lbers and dial in at 40 mm essentially the same as the 40 MM Bofors anti aircraft gun ~ Range was approx 1000 metres, With a velocity of 2600 FPS ~
These are all solid practice rounds and are of NO danger what so ever !
The Six pounder is 6.23lbs in weight and a velocity of <2800fps> . The shell has a diameter of 2.31"/ 57MM.
And a range of < 1600M>.
068589 A two pounder Anti-Tank Gun of the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment, 8th Australian Division,
85569 RAVENSHOE AREA, QLD. 1945-01-13. 2 3 TANK ATTACK REGIMENT TROOPS ENGAGED IN LINE FIRING DURING A DEMONSTRATION TO 9 DIVISION TROOPS USING SIX 6 POUNDER GUNS.
With "modern Technology " moving ahead these guns were soon redundant and ineffective against the German tanks. But as Japan never placed priority on tank and armoured vehicles , even the two pounder was deadly against their tanks!
A poignant shot ~ which is quite amusing in the true 'vein' of the Australian Digger ~
(Every site I dig there are masses of broken beer bottles! )
Another "local" Tablelands WWII photo ~
KAIRI, QLD. 1944-11-23. A 2 9 INFANTRY BATTALION PICQUET, WITH HIS BOTTLE OF REFRESHMENT, GUARDS GROUNDED ARMS DURING THE UNIT'S 5TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS.
Last edited by AT P Sweep; 05-31-2014 at 09:10 AM.
05-31-2014, 06:47 AM
Saturday 24 May ~ the weather after weeks on rain and winds finally cleared ~ after doing the domestics I finally decided to do a late run based the new QLD.Gov Google Earth add on ~ ( This offers huge range of improvements from view enhancements to all issues associated with Government local and state ~
I essentially headed onto a well worked area but with a new slant and extended ground ~ Again as I was pressed for time with a late start ~ I also used the Garmin too plot the area with future references ~
But I did pick up on an old "catch" ~ that is high pitch 70-80 but with high iron signal ~ ( ?!!) To dig or not ~ to dig and this time proved worth while ~ (I will dig those webbing buckles all day any day and love em !)
The Mortar carry case with stock brass webbing buckle in situ ~
And using the QLD.Gov add on proved that the area IS public access .. I was later in the afternoon ~ told to USE the nearby gate and drive onto the site !!
One rusted chain in the initial ground ~ Nothings else thus far !
Then a local came along with huge Alsatian in pursuit ~ Jiving me about digging up hand grenades ~
( You can bet houses I simply froze when I saw this bloody great Alsatian bounding at full kilter , straight for me!)
They spent < 45 mins> talking with me and he pointed out a LOT of points. The area map is right ~ this is a public ‘Reserve’ ~
He asked if I had accessed North camp and even said he has a block there and found heaps ~ distracted I neglected to ask about getting on there ~
And the area east of the Platypus creek is where the tanks were stationed ~ more new revelation!
So much information and I did not have my pen and pad with me ~ so I am planning to chase him up ~again !~
And Ironically "Bill" kept stirring me about digging those hand grenades ~ It was revelation to him when I announced I had already found 16 2" Mortar rounds and two hand grenades in the immediate area ~ Plus my MD always rings as a 36 every time!
But proved a real interesting bloke who may well have a lead onto farm areas not so far from this site ~
As I explained I reckon the area we were in was a parade ground and actually found a AWM film footage wherein the troops were doing a parade for the Duke of Gloucester ~
The small finds included the webbing straps and a single 303 blank plus a half spoon handle !
Probably head back tomorrow as I started picking up fresh strong signals !
05-31-2014, 07:11 AM
Sunday another day and a fresh target ~ not even 5 minutes drive from home ~ Actually a work place property which has to date back 100 years and had to have some dwelling/s as there are four blocks Incorporated!
The signals were almost instant ~ but so were the iron signals ~ and worse still the soil was so ionized the pin pointer went crazy !
So I swept the three open blocks over 2 1/2 hours and was selective about what targets I dug !
This brass separation plate (75 mm OD) looks very similar to cartridge separation plates I have seen from artillery shell smoke shells ~
The separation plates were fitted to separate the smoke canisters as the early smoke shells had exploded on the artillery breech and or barrel so they fitted the plates ! But unless an individual bought in the plate there is no obvious reason for it being on the site ~
Plus a tank used at the time were usually a 40 mm or 50 mm gun ( Matilda ) ~ UNLESS they were servicing American Grant tanks which had a 75 mm gun mounted on the side of the tank ~
Now I KNOW they had Grant tanks at Tinaroo , Herberton and Atherton ~ and there were Tanks also around Malanda.
There were many WWII period Military Work shop in this immediate area ~spread around town ~ I have yet to confirm the site of all shops ~
Although I know via the AWM references that Matildas were here in training ~ but they did not have large guns which accommodate a 75 mm separation plate ~
( This is all purely speculative BTW!)
Grants tanks on Herberton main street
The two rings right side are large bearing 'cages' and are way too big for a truck ~ and IMO are either rail engine/ carriage or military tank! Perhaps a bulldozer ~
Not a single coin or any positive period ID item ~
05-31-2014, 07:31 AM
Monday ~ Slow start to the day with threatening showers and wind gusts yet again ~
Again I did some "home work" before biting the bullet and heading out around 13.00 hrs ~
Again I headed back to the same well tried area and only because when I was there on Sunday and the recent rain which changes the composition of the ground did I decided to give it yet another bash !
Very slow start ~ ironically yet another short piece of chain in the first area again!
It was not long I was considering Plan B ~ but I did not have a plan B ~ so kept plugging on!
Then as I worked probably the single hardest hammered 5sq-m in the entire area, ~ I pulled a triple webbing buckle ~ "Hello Old friend!"
Feeling some what inspired I really started to work the area ~ and WHoo Hoo!!! ! Smack in the Middle ~
I was inspired ~
I kept working the area right to the water line ~
And Double-Whammo!! ~ right on the water line in the mud ~
It was amazing I actually pulled this one as the half-square metre was crammed with metal detritus and fragments!
So what is better than a Rising Sun?
Two Rising Suns and even better a match pair ~
Then as the afternoon wore on ~ the rain clouds were a coming
But a good afternoon ~ in a well worn ground ~
All other non entities and trash not included ~
6 Days soaking in Vinegar ~ problem is the badges are copper yellow ~
So trial lemon juice to turn back the original Brown wash ~
Been layered with lemon juice for some 3 hours .. much better ~
Note the well worn hat badge ~ the "IA" of Australia is particularly well worn which tells me this badge has travelled a LOT of Miles ~ North Africa , Tobruk ! ~ the Middle East ~ even Greece , Crete and back to Australia ~ on to New Guinea ! ?? Who knows ~
Boy! If it could only talk ~
06-12-2014, 04:04 AM
Looking back several months ago ~
Remember this? I found it on the residence site/ property , at Milla Milla ~
Now the other thing I found was a standard RAA issue shave cream tube. Now recalling that the site was supposed to have WWII issues which we were hoping to confirm ~
Ed found nothing related to a military camp ~
Well one of the blokes down south in mid western NSW has been working a WWII RAAF base near Wagga !
And guess what Darren found on the site ?
The debate has been raging all week about what he found ~ I argued it was flare gun ~ another bloke argued it was merely a toy cap gun ~
And guess what ~ Absolutely IDENTICAL IDENTICAL
WT ~ ??? Starter Pistol ???
Just rang Rebecca, who owns the property and she is going to retrieve it FROM the KIDS ~ and I will get some more piccies ~
06-18-2014, 12:47 PM
Well Finally got the "renowned " hand gun back today ~ after another MD'er found the exact same hand gun in a WWII RAAF site just near where I grew up ~
The debate began when JJ found the same hand gun ~ 2000 km away ~ and I found "mine" in a suspected WWII bunker site locally ~
Rebeckah whose property I found the gun on ~ had actually done some research on it as soon as they removed most of the crud or most of it ~
Seems mine and JJ's same find is purely co-incidental ~ Million to one chance that a fellow MD finds a same hand gun in a WWII RAAF site 2000 km away is amazing ~
It is a Pope Company Repeating Cap gun ~ Special ~ Ned Kelly model WS 1868
Pope Products - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
06-24-2014, 06:02 AM
Well after some four weeks of non stop rain and wind the skies once again cleared ~
So I tried a totally new site ~ but ut was well short of expectations and after an hour i ticked the box and left to return to a well owrked and favourite area ~
After a pleasant few hours I called it a day and headed home ~
Sunday two of us headed again to familiar territory early ~ Perfect day ~ But heavy going at times as this is the Far north Wet tropics ~
My mate neglected to bring his lower leg gaiters and wore shorts ~ this was potentially a bad move as he almost stepped on a large Black Snake sunning it self in the grass ~
The biggest struggle is the vines as they constantly tangle the MD ~ But we simply persevered with a level of success and variety of finds ~
My first find was a cut pad lock which is very typical of this particular WWII site which was a Supply / logistics area.
On of Ed's excellent finds an immaculate weapons oiler tube ~ too large for a Lee Enfield IMO ~
Number 25 ` (Hat ) Rising Sun ~
y 12.00 we were ready for lunch and then moved camp to an even more hard worked area ~ and in true philosophical trends of rained on ground will always produce the goods which seemingly were never there before !
I was stunned at the sheer number of items which appeared in previously hard worked areas ~
I found quite a few curiosities ~
This one is intriguing too ~
Turns out this heavily engraved piece is in fact part of a 'Schroeder Tyre gauge Patent 1922- 1932 Made in Toronto USA'
That Rising Sun and a cut piece which is inverted and reads as " AUSTRALIA "
The centre rod is a nice brass punch ~
Overall nothing stunning short of the RS but a well spent day ~
06-24-2014, 08:19 AM
( Not sure about posting in a speciality section so ~~)
WHAT IS THIS ?? ~
As above found Sunday in a Logistics site WWII ~ site occupied form 1942 to 1945 by Australian forces ~
Mostly brass ~ The steel rivets gave way when I dug it ~
The right hand side has been "attacked" at some point and I think would have been the same as the left with the tension section .
Same with a 40 mm shell cartridge case in situ ( The case rim section has base removed. )
Last edited by AT P Sweep; 06-26-2014 at 06:27 AM.
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In Search technology and metal detecting